|Messenger photo by Dianne Garrett|
|The Homestead Motel has been a fixture in Whitehall for many years. Paul Wenning of Franklin County Board of Health described the facility as one of the two cleanest and well maintained in the city. Manager Hament Patel and other motel proprietors promised to cooperate with the city’s new policy on licensing and inspecting the businesses.|
Whitehall motel owners asked city officials to work together with them as City Council Sept. 18 passed an ordinance requiring the businesses to have permits and establishing safety and sanitary regulations.
This ordinance means that the city will be able to inspect the businesses twice a year at the expense of the establishments. If there are problems, they will do re-inspections until problems are corrected.
Hament Patel of Homestead Motel, Rashesh Patel of Super Motor Lodge, Amil Patel of Holiday Motel, Vimod Patel of Casa Villa and Anug Patel of Colonial Motel attended the meeting. None of the Patels are related.
Hament Patel spoke for the group, telling council that they are willing to work together, and are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for questions or concerns.
"We are the little guy, and don’t have the huge staff the bigger hotel chains have, but we do the best we can, and will cooperate," he promised.
When contacted earlier in the week, Patel also said that he would have appreciated it if members of council would have notified the owners and managers that the ordinance was in the works.
He said they don’t always have access to the newspapers, and were unaware that the ordinance was being considered.
He also said that he will gladly pay the $300 for the permit on top of the 17 percent bed tax he pays for each guest.
He also pointed out that this is a good thing, but only asks that the process remains consistent for all of the hotels and motels.
According to Paul Wenning of the Franklin County Board of Health, Patel’s Homestead Motel is one of two facilities in the city that are in good shape.
Hament explained, "We try to do what’s right to keep our motel clean. That is the way it should be."
He is the on-site manager, and the motel has been owned by an uncle for over 20 years.
Patel said he is also careful about security. "I have cameras all around my property to monitor who is coming and going."
His guests are not allowed to have anyone in the room except those who rented it, so he watches for too much activity, and when he sees it, he addresses it with the guest who rents the room.
City attorney resigning, council clerk retiring
In other business, City Attorney Cheryl Nester tendered her resignation Sept. 13, to be effective by midnight, Oct. 13.
She chose not to seek a second term, and is accepting a position with the Ohio Department of Administration Services.
In her resignation letter she said, "It has been an honor and a privilege to work with all of you in serving the citizens of Whitehall for the past four years. I believe that Whitehall is on a path of growth in the future."
Council members went into two executive sessions at the end of the regular meeting. According to Council President Brent Howard, the second one was to discuss the process that will be taken to replace Nester. They must follow the City Charter.
Councilman Mike Shannon recused himself from the second meeting, and exited the building, since he is a candidate for city attorney in the upcoming election.
If Shannon is appointed to replace Nester, it would make him the incumbent, and that would mean that his brother, Kevin Shannon, would have to resign as assistant city attorney because of the city’s nepotism law that prohibits someone from directly supervising a relative.
Clerk of Council Carol Churchman has filed her retirement papers, effective Oct. 1.
Council approved Marjorie Russell to the position at $16 an hour, effective October 1.
Council members thanked Churchman for all her years of service and personal help they have received from her. Councilman Jim Graham commended her for all her help, especially when they were new as a council member.
"She keeps us out of trouble," laughed Graham.
Howard told her that he greatly appreciated their working relationship over the past four years, and that she will be missed.
"Your institutional knowledge has been so valuable, and you truly are ‘Mom’ to all of us," Howard said.
Officer of the Year
|Messenger photo by Dianne Garrett|
|Whitehall Council President Brent Howard presents Officer of the Year recipient Michael P. Dillon a resolution for his outstanding work at the Sept. 18 council meeting. Dillon has been on the force for six years, and according supervisors and fellow officers, he is a "policeman’s policeman."|
At the meeting, Officer Michael P. Dillon received a resolution from council naming him Officer of the Year.
He will also receive a $250 compensation. Dillon has been on the force for six years, graduated from West Jefferson High School, and in the 106th class of the Ohio State Highway Patrol Officer Academy. He is the married father of two children.
Fellow police officers and supervisors labeled him a "policeman’s policeman."
Deputy Chief Ralph Huntzinger said that Dillon excels in every area of police work, especially coaching. He trains new officers until they are ready to be on their own.
"He does an excellent job," said Huntzinger. "He will make a good detective or supervisor one day."
Sgt. Randy Snider of the Detective Bureau called Dillon a "go-getter."
Lt. Mark Heater offered, "We are in good hands with guys like him. I would like a department full of Mikes."
Two other employees who are to be honored had scheduling conflicts, and will receive their awards at a later date.
The next council meeting will be Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m.